Sofia’s Declassified Lister Survival Guide

Welcome to Lister! You might be thinking, “Oh man, this is going to be the best eight months of my life.” Or conversely, “Oh man, what the fuck have I done.” The truth is we all have a love/hate relationship with Lister, so welcome to the club. But I promise you can make it through these next eight months — just be strong, wear shower shoes, and follow these simple tips.


Your Floor

Your floor will be your Lister family, whether you like it or not. So get to know them, go to floormals, pile into someone’s room and drink too much. You won’t like everyone on your floor, but you’re sharing a prison cell with these people for the next eight months, so try to at least be civil.

Get to know your RAs, they know how to survive Lister better than anyone. That being said, you probably shouldn’t make a move on your RA. Even if you’re blackout drunk and they’re a hot third year with their own sink.

On Sunday at 8:00 pm when your poor RA (who you definitely didn’t hook up with) yells “Floor meeting!” down your wing, please, for the love of god, be one of the five people with the decency to go to the lounge. I know cleaning Lister kitchens is disgusting, and that vacuum you have to use to clean the carpet is from 1960, but your floor will thank you for it.


Being a good neighbour

Lister walls are pretty thick but the doors are a different story. Don’t be loud in the hallways, especially at night and in the morning on your way to class. No one cares that the Schaffer dodgeball captain acknowledged your existence at Dukes. It’s three in the morning on a Wednesday, asshole.

Also, please don’t play your music loudly. The person in the room below you will probably fantasize about killing you in your sleep. They might actually do it too, if you play “One Dance” one more fucking time.

Everyone will warn you about floorcest like it’s a sin, but it will always happen. Keep it tidy if you choose to sleep with someone from your floor, for the sake of everyone else. You and Brad from high wing have already broken your desk and bed frame, at least try to keep your dignity intact.


The Bathroom

Figure out which toilet has the quietest flush and try to use that one. The unfortunate soul with the room beside the bathroom will thank you.

Don’t wash or cut your hair in the sink. You will never actually catch someone doing this but freshly cut hair will be in the sink at some point, mark my words. Just remember, the bathroom isn’t a barber shop.

DO NOT have a bath in a Lister tub, you might not live to tell the tale. Do you know how many Listerites have been dared to have sex in one of those tubs? Do you know how many have gone through with it? Don’t say I didn’t warn you when your grandpa (Henday AllStar, 1965) Jimmie Prairie’s semen gets mixed in with your Lush bath bomb.

Date someone who lives in Schaffer and use their shower. This hack requires commitment but have you seen the showers in classic Lister? It’s worth it.


The Kitchen

Label anything you put in the fridges, and check expiry dates regularly. If you don’t, you’re just asking Brad to take your leftover Oodle Noodle and eat it while playing League of Legends in his boxers in the lounge. Why did you sleep with that guy again? When you try to console yourself with some expired chocolate milk you’ll be wishing you’d just bought a mini-fridge.

Don’t make messes in the kitchen. If there’s batter all over the walls and you were the one who made the brownies that had the consistency of burnt toast, then you better clean it up.



Attend church regularly, and by that I mean spend at least a couple hours a week in the Tuckey. Play dodgeball, or at least go out and support your team. It’s a great way to meet people, take a study break, and work off that burger from the Mar you had for lunch. Oh and if you don’t, you’re going to purgatory. That’s the next 10,000 years of Brad incoherently explaining how he “feels” about your relationship. Just go play dodgeball.



Get to ECHA or Mac Library early during midterms and finals to grab a spot. ECHA has great study rooms, a Starbucks, and walking to ECHA actually forces you to get some fresh air. Mac library is right in your basement and is beautifully silent. Don’t ruin it.

You can always study in your room, except when the floorcestual couple next door is getting it on, or when the guy upstairs is STILL playing “One Dance,” or when someone keeps flushing that one loud toilet. Yeah, you’re probably better off in the library.



Complaining about Aramark food is a Lister tradition but as awful and overpriced as it is you’re going to have to eat it. Stir fry from the cafeteria is a good source of grains, vegetables, and protein, and it’s available almost every night. Mar poutine is not even made with real cheese curds but it’s cheap and filling. You can’t go wrong with an egg and cheese sandwich, even for dinner.


Saving meal card money

Don’t get Booster Juice every day. Yes smoothies are delicious and right there in your basement but your meal card money will run out faster than you can say “Brazilian Thunder.”

Buy some of your snacks and grocery items from Mac’s or a grocery store. You will soon realize that the Mar doesn’t have prices on anything. That’s because you don’t even want to know how much they mark everything up.


Maybe most importantly

Make friends outside of Lister! Edmontonians are chill, they know the city, and they usually have cars. Get out and join a club, or at least talk to people in your classes. There’s more to U of A than Lister (and more to Edmonton than Dukes, Knoxvilles, and Garneau Pub).

Don’t feel bad if you get homesick. Don’t feel bad if you don’t feel like you’re having the Lister experience everyone talks about. Don’t feel bad if you can’t wait until you’re out of that hellhole. That being said, you are guaranteed to at least have a bit of fun at Lister, so embrace it.



Floormal: A couple nights a year when you and your floor get all dressed up and go somewhere nice like Earls, or somewhere not nice (referred to as an anti-floormal), like McDonald’s or Denny’s, for dinner.


Main Lister: Where the classic towers and Schaffer meet. Here you’ll find the Residence Services desk, the mailboxes, and all the food you could ever (and never) want. You can go to main in your muscle shirt and Adidas slides even in the middle of winter via the tunnels leading there from each tower.


The Mar: The Marina. Located in main Lister this is your go to spot for Tim Hortons coffee on your way to class, post-dodgeball Booster Juice, and a selection of greasy eats prepared ‘fresh’ right before your eyes.


The caf: The Lister Market. Upstairs in main Lister you’ll find a cafeteria with rotating entrees, a salad bar, stir fry, a grill, a halal station, and sandwiches. It’s also a good place to study if you don’t mind old episodes of Heartland playing in the background.


The Tuckey: The David Tuckey Gymnasium. This is the gym where dodgeball is played, it’s off of the hallway on your way to Schaffer. A banner on the wall says “Dodgeball is everything to everyone.” It’s accurate.


RA: Resident Assistant. Someone who is payed to deal with your drunk ass.



Classic: The three first year Lister towers, Kelsey Hall, Mackenzie (Mac) Hall, and Henday Hall, built in the 60’s. About 45 people to a floor housed in three wings (high, middle, and low) each with a communal bathroom. Every floor has a kitchen and lounge. In the tower basements you’ll find amenities like the Henday gym and Mac library.


Schaffer: Built in 2003, Schaffer is basically paradise. It used to hold upper years but now only first and second years can live there. Everyone has a private bathroom and there are three lounges on every floor, three!


Floorcest: Getting with someone from your floor, AKA your “family.”


Dukes: A diner right across the street from Schaffer that has a liquor license, enough said.


Sofia Osborne

Sofia is a fourth-year English major with a minor in philosophy. She's been writing for The Gateway since the first day of her first year because she wants to be Rory Gilmore when she grows up. Now, she's the Managing Editor and is in charge of the print magazine.

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